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Katharina Blum is pretty, bright, hard-working and at the centre of a big city scandal when, at a carnival party, she falls in love with a young radical on the run from the police. Portrayed by the city's leading newspaper as a whore, a communist and an atheist, she becomes the target of anonymous phone calls and sexual threats. Her life ruined by the distortions of a corrupt press, she shoots the offending journalist and gives herself up for arrest. Step by step and with an affecting forensic clarity, Katharina's story is reconstructed for the reader, gradually disclosing and entire panorama of human relationship and motive. The novel is a masterful comment on the law and the press, the labyrinth of social truth and the relentless collision of fact and fiction.